Old 11-04-16, 08:52 PM
Buckeye Bob
Still grinding away
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: West Liberty, OH
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Bikes: Scott CR1, Giant Anyroad, Trek 1000

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Originally Posted by kc0bbq View Post
By breathing deeply, you increase the oxygen you have available. You end up shifting around where different metabolic processes happen. You have two options once you start getting to that point where the O2 you bring in starts to balance out the O2 used - you can get a little more air and move that goalpost out or you can lower your effort. On flat ground it's easy to do the latter. On a hill there's a limit before you stop fighting gravity. Good posture, open up your shoulders, and breathe deeply, especially out. Make use of that diaphragm!

Since you're fighting your body's natural response it takes practice. Unfortunately, it is really (really really) hard to keep yourself working hard enough on flat ground to do this, so hills (or a trainer with a lot of resistance) are normally the only place to work on this skill. If your body doesn't need so much oxygen you'll hyperventilate and that's not good either, so you need to be in a bad place where you need all that extra O2. That's one of the reasons hills and hill repeats are so helpful. If your technique is off you stand to make big gains just from learning to breathe in different conditions - at least while your legs are stronger than your heart and lungs, but your legs catch up quickly if your heart and lungs can push them once in a while.

Hills cause suffering when you're a clyde, but you can minimize it. That makes all riding easier - it's not just for people who want to go out and hammer away. Making hills less of a chore makes JRA rides better because the hard parts are less likely to give you those negative feelings that can drag down the rest of the ride. You can't enjoy your descents (gravity loves clydes! the earth wants us close to her), if you're in a group you feel like you're making people wait too long, all that stuff that kicking yourself mentally really exaggerates in your head.
Thanks for the information. I agree about hill repeats. I concentrated on climbing as much as possible this year and skipping the many miles on the near by Rail Trail. I was surprised at how much I gained in minimal miles. It made a huge difference.
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